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November 26th, 2012, 07:47
Recently there have been a lot of RTS games played in our group, especially Supreme Commander 1.

Supcom1 is probably the peak of basebuilding in RTS history. It's not just that it have loads of upgradeable buildings, it's also that the game have "adjency bonuses" which means that buildings may benefit from being placed next to another. Primarily construction buildings benefit from being surrounded with resource production buildings and resource production buildings benefit from having resource storage buildings. But both production and storage buildings are volatile so a crashing plane or a well aimed shot will create a chain reaction that may take out the whole base if you are unlucky, therefore you need to protect your clusters of buildings. How you place the buildings in your base becomes something like an artform. While there are better or worse strategies, even the best strategies have it's weaknesses. After an hour or so you are likely to have a protected base with a good resource production and then you can begin to build experimentals that takes ages to build but are the toughest units in your arsenal. Supcom1 have made sure that these units are rare, extremely expensive and very powerful so it's very rewarding to have your first rolling (or flying) out of your base. This creates a great diversity which makes repeated playthroughs against harder and harder AI's enjoyable and we play it in COOP with up to 5 players.

Supcom1 seems to be the peak because after that basebuilding in RTS becomes obsolete. I didn't spend long with supcom2 because for some reason it have oversimplified the basebuilding making it feel like moving back to Warcraft I. Adjency bonuses are removed so you can just drop your buildings. Upgrading buildings are removed so the choice of using your building at a low tech to protect yourself or upgrade it early to get powerful faster is gone (and it feels there are much fewer buildings to construct). Instead of upgrades you have a science-meter that grows the more science facilities you have that allow you to place points in a talent tree. This basically feels like spending points you get for free with minimal effort required.
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